“Kenneth!” I exclaimed.
“Yes, it’s me and you’re coming home with me whether you want to or not!” He fired at me as he pushed his way into my apartment.
My mouth was open, I didn’t expect to see him here.
“I have Veg to blame for this. I knew he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut.” I said quietly.
“How could you? I never believed it when mom told me that it seemed that you’d left home for good. Cleopatra, you are the good child. How could you?” He fired, turning to stare at me.
“Ken, please…grow up! What good is being a good child? You’re speaking as though you know me when you don’t.”
“Of course, I do. You are my sister and I have known you since we were children.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said and my stomach growled.
He looked at me, then turned to regard my scanty apartment.
“You choose this? You choose to live like this? When you have a whole suite to yourself at Abuja and if you prefer Lagos, all you need do is say the word and daddy will give you a house?”
“I don’t need his help…I don’t need anyone’s help.” I said. “I can do this on my own.”
“Cleo…you are coming home with me. I understand that you want to show everyone that you can make it on your own but you need to be reasonable. You can’t survive without dad.”
“You’re silly.” I said to him. “I have survived for months without your father’s money and I will continue to survive.”
He was taken aback by my response but instead of backing down, he said.
“Mother has been so depressed since you left…”
“I don’t care.” I said.
He looked at me, he seemed confused.
“You don’t care? She’s our mother!”
“So? Look Ken, if you have nothing else to say, I suggest that you leave.”
“I took the first flight from Abuja to make sure you come home…I…”
“I hope you told no one that you know where to find me.” I said.
“No, I didn’t but…”
“Leave it that way. Don’t mention a word to mom, or our sister.” I said.
“What of dad? He’s worried sick about you…haven’t you thought of him? You are his jewel, he loves you so much.”
I looked at him with tears of raw pain and anger in my eyes.
“No! I won’t leave you here.” He said to me.
I grew bitter.
“Can’t you see? Can’t you see that I am not part of that family anymore? I have cut ties from you all, I have even destroyed my sim card so that none of you can find me. I cleared my account of all your parent’s money, what more do I need to do to make you understand that I’ve moved on?”
“My parents? Cleo, they are our parents!”
“They are your parents! Ken, you don’t have two sisters anymore but one, please forget about me and I suggest that you make sure your parents do the same.”
He looked broken, he stared at me in silence.
“Who did this to you? Who changed you?” He asked.
“Nothing and no one.”
“Is it Adams? Did you do something to hurt you?”
“It’s nothing Ken, just go and don’t come back.” I said.
“Talk to me, I am your brother…please, you can’t hold a secret in your heart for too long or it’ll destroy you. Whatever anyone has done to you, please forgive…”
I struggled to control myself but I couldn’t.
“Forgive? How can I ever forgive a man who ruined my life? How dare you suggest that? It was as though he pushed a knife into my heart and twisted it so deep. You have no idea of what I have to live with for the rest of my life, you have no idea at all, so, go back to your perfect life in Abuja and forget about me.” I said, with tears running down my cheeks.
“Who are you talking about, Cleo? Is it Adams?” He asked in sympathy.
“No…and I’m sorry I yelled at you but please Ken…let me do this. Let me take care of myself.”
He sighed and bringing out his wallet, he took out an ATM card and handed it to me.
“Here…if you won’t come with me, at least, let me help you furnish your apartment so that you can live comfortably. I’ll be happier, knowing that you are comfortable wherever you are.”
I took the card from him and said.
“It’s just a loan, I’ll pay you back.”
“Listen Cleo, whatever it is that made you this way should not define you. You need to understand that bad things happen in life and it’s the way we deal with it that determines who we really are. Whoever disappointed you or whatever destroyed you should not change you.”
“I’ve heard…please go.” I said. “And remember, do not breathe a word of my whereabouts to anyone…no one!” I said. “If you do, I swear I’ll disappear from the face of the earth.”
He nodded silently.
“It’s your decision, I wish you’d have trusted me with the truth. I’d gladly put behind bars, whoever it is that changed you.”
As he left my apartment, I could feel his pain but how do I tell him that the man who was responsible for all my suffering was none other than his beloved father?
To be continued….